Although very very cold outside, we had a snug and warm night in Georgie. Having packed away we programmed the female continangcy and set off for Portsmouth.
Woolly says – I was a very sad Mammoth, poor Ian drove round and round Portsmouth so I could tick off the Marie Rose (not a sauce apparently!!!) and we could find no where to park Georgie, both Jo and I felt very gloomy as we had been looking forward to this part of the trip, it was not to be, although Ian said I could tick it off in my I Spy book as I caught a glimpse of the Golden Hind on our second tour of the city, not a Motorhome city. Feeling down hearted but not defeated we set off towards Winchester to seek out Arthur’s table.
We were very sad but it is a fact that we cannot get everywhere we want to given our size, we solved the problem easily in Winchester by parking in the Motorhome parking area of Park and Ride and for £3.00 GBP we were parked for the day and our bus fare was included – good deal.
Woolly says – we wrapped up warm and caught the bus into the city, our first stop was The Old Court House, not to look at but for a warm up of coffee and sausage sandwiches! Fully revived we set off to the Great Hall, a most impressive building on the outside but even better on the inside. Mounted on the wall was the table I had been seeking, King Arthurs, WOW! Weighing in at over a tonne it was wonderful to behold and I could imagine myself (Woollylot, Knight of the Round Table) sitting there in the old days passing the roast boar and chatting to Lancelot and Arthur over a casual supper! Following our find I was raring to go and find out more about Winchester and its history. To help with my quest we made our way to the city museum, for free, we found loads of information on the Roman and Anglo Saxon roots of the city as well as artefacts including a nearly complete Roman Mosaic. Famous for the contributions that King Alfred made we kept finding reminders of him and his contribution to the city. Outside the museum we found the most
interesting bollards, yes BOLLARDS, all painted in different colours and copies of pictures. I found it very hard to choose my favourite so Jo humoured me and let me have my picture taken on some of the ones I liked best. We then scuttled out of the cold and headed inside Winchester Cathedral – another tick in my I Spy book!!! Having had a minster on that site since 648 AD this is surely the most impressive in size and design to have been built in this area with some parts dating back to the 12th
century, with its immensely beautifully decorated high ceilings it was pretty amazing and, only being a small mammoth, it was HUGE in comparison to me! We found the grave of Jane Austin, one of Britain’s best female authors as well as many incredibly decorated graves of former bishops of Winchester, St Swithern and many remembrance plagues to the armed forces. We found our way to the crypt and although a foot under water, I thought it was quite spooky! The sculpture that we could see added to the spooky feel and I was quite glad to get out. Ian told me the
story of William Walker, a diver, who was the first person to dive on land!!! Using the old fashioned diving helmets of the day he is credited with saving the Cathedral with his own two hands between 1906 and 1911, by underpinning the building due to high levels of water under it – what a dude!
It was a very impressive place and I was very glad we had seen it, whilst Woolly was in an inquiring mood we walked round to Wolversley Castle, unfortunately this was closed but we were able to see the Roman walls that still survive.
Woolly says – by now my trunk was starting to freeze over so we decided to head for a warm up via the Old Mill (National Trust £4.60 GBP per adult), we flashed our cards and entered. Well, the mill wheel itself was quite good but other than counting the cobwebs everywhere I can’t say I was very impressed. Beating a hasty retreat we picked up a couple of bits, a sink plunger for Georgie (lucky girl), a couple of T Shirts and some more thermal socks for Jo (Primark – sorry Zoe!!!) and
we found ourselves in the Royal Oak, a really cute pub with lots of small rooms to get lost in. Once Jo had found me we had a bite to eat before setting off to find our bus back to Georgie.
Three miles down the road through a couple of tight roads and serious bends we arrived at The Chestnut Horse, Easton, a beautiful old pub with a roaring fire and the warmest welcome we could want. Made to feel right at home, Woolly settled down in front of the fire and seemed to be dreaming of the Knights of old, I just wish he didn’t snore so loudly!
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